Our support team share their thoughts on the most important factors in creating a customer-first company culture.July 15, 2020
When you shed all the layers of a successful organization down to its core, you will always find the same thing — human beings interacting with and respecting other human beings.
Many of today’s businesses operate online, which can sometimes disconnect them from their actual customers. This is a recipe for disaster unless you have a customer support team that truly cares about customers as people and works hard to create a positive, lasting impact.
Here at The Remote Company, offering customer care with love is paramount to our company values. It is our goal to fully support every customer as much as humanly possible! But sometimes that is easier said than done.
In this blog post, I chat with other members of The Remote Company’s support team to find out what they think are the most important factors in creating a customer-first company culture that is built on support, efficiency and respect.
Patience. A complex task that is second nature to you may be new and challenging to someone else. Don’t lose your patience when re-explaining these ideas to customers. Empathy is equally important. It’s easy to forget that a customer may have been trying to achieve something for the last three hours to no avail. You would be pretty frustrated in that situation too. A kind, quick and clear response is always the way to go.
Simply assess the tone of the customer and respond accordingly. Are they worried or distressed? Put them at ease assuring them you’re here to help them instead of starting the conversation with a barrage of background questions.
If the customer is upset, use empathetic language. A simple “I totally understand, I would be frustrated too” humanizes you while validating their feelings.
Know your product. Never stop learning. All the empathetic language in the world won’t help you if you simply don’t have the answers. Confidence in yourself levels up the support you give to customers (and fellow teammates). To be confident in the support you give, you want to be an expert on the product itself.
Knowing your product is just one part. You also have to be a positive and happy person if you want to provide outstanding customer service. You have to genuinely like people. Otherwise, it will be hell for both you and your customers.
Imagine yourself in the other person’s position, be empathetic and try to offer the closest workaround.
Start work in a great mood. I like to read something inspirational or uplifting 15 minutes before work. Try putting a photo of your family having a meal together in your workplace to remind yourself that it’s not your boss who pays for your food, but your customers!
Be empathetic and patient. It's very important to understand that some clients can have zero tech background, so It's crucial to be patient and explain everything step by step—even the little details. Customers will appreciate this and you'll feel great having helped someone learn something new. This type of feedback usually makes my day!
Be understanding. If you were stuck or had a big technical issue, you'd likely react the same way. Be patient, listen carefully to the customer's problem until you understand it, and comfort them by trying to find a solution. Most importantly, never take things personally.
Always ask questions and continue to learn your product, especially when there are updates that change the product. Also, make sure to check your company’s newsletter regularly to stay on top of the latest updates.
I think there are three major things to keep in mind if you want to be a great customer service provider: knowledge, speed and empathy. You can be a good customer support agent by possessing the first two, but adding empathy transforms you into a great one.
In certain situations, the key is to really understand what kind of person you're helping. Does the customer like to joke? Are they serious? What emotions do they show? What time is it there right now? What’s the age and location of the customer? All these factors help to adapt to a specific situation and act accordingly.
Come in a good mood and be polite :)
Firstly, always be empathetic. Secondly, if customers are reaching out, it is important to them. No matter how busy or long the day is, treat each customer like the first one. Lastly, if you don't know the answer, ask the customer for more details. Sometimes they don't know exactly what to ask to get the right answer.
Remember that for customers, you represent the company. It's never personal, so be patient.
Support is mainly about serving others and helping them succeed. Keep patient and always put yourself in the customer's shoes.
Small details can go a long way. I think what makes a support team outstanding is when you can provide a personal experience for the customer while solving their problem. For example, did they mention that their customer base is growing quickly? Congratulate them! Can you give them a piece of advice that they didn’t ask for? Go for it! Customers appreciate these small attentive details.
I always keep in mind that I’m dealing with real people that have their own emotions, experiences and knowledge. Maybe they had a bad day, or they never had to deal with a similar issue before and simply feel confused. Thinking from the customer’s perspective always helps.
There are no stupid questions. That goes for the support members themselves too. It’s always better to ask a colleague than to have regrets later. As for customers, just keep patient.
One thing I often repeat to myself when helping someone is: “Would I be happy if I had this issue and I was receiving this attention?”
It's important to put yourself in the client’s shoes and try to understand where they're coming from. Make sure the customer knows that you both have the same goal: To solve the issue as promptly as possible. Empathy and good communication are key.
I always try to help to the best of my ability. If something is out of my scope, I find common ground, empathize with the person and work to find a solution. Sometimes, just letting them know you understand how they feel, or that their issue is important to you too, goes a long way in establishing better communication (which equals an overall better experience).
Never stop learning! Product knowledge is definitely a priority. This is how you ensure the information you provide is accurate, plus it will give you confidence.
It doesn't hurt to sharpen your people/writing skills as well. Nowadays, communication is mainly online. While something might sound okay in your head, it may come off as very rude or blunt on the other end. This can cause unnecessary issues. That's why it's helpful to learn about other perspectives, writing styles, types of people, etc. The more you can adapt, the better.
Take the below pieces of advice to ensure love flows in your customer support team!
Mentally and physically prepare yourself before work starts, in order to be positive
Understand the mindset of your customers by asking questions
Provide a personal experience for each customer you talk to
Always stay patient
Really hear what customers are trying to say and emphasize with their situation
Know the product you're offering support for
Be human, be real and support with love.
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